|'Mech type||Inner Sphere BattleMech|
|Armor||Kallon Unity Weave Ferro-Fibrous with CASE|
|Engine||Hermes 275 XL|
|Communications System||TharHes Euterpe HM-14|
|Targeting Tracking System||TharHes Ares-8a|
|Heat Sinks||11 double|
Originally a failed BattleMech concept designed to have a smaller forward profile, the Bushwacker would ultimately become a popular Clan Invasion era BattleMech in use within both halves of the Federated Commonwealth.
Under development on the cusp of the Clan Invasion, the ambitious and unorthodox design of the Bushwacker featured a low-slung and narrow upper torso to present minimal target profile to enemy units. Unfortunately this resulted in a complex and crowded internal layout, with the 'Mech's fusion engine's close proximity to the sensor and communication system resulting in electronic interference and system failures. Engineers were unable to overcome these issues, and the 'Mech seemed destined for the scrap-heap despite impressing evaluators with its design and capabilities.
The Bushwacker was ultimately saved by the Clan juggernaut following a successful Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth raid against a Clan Jade Falcon base on Twycross, FedCom forces securing a treasure trove of schematics and technical data on numerous Clan designs, including the Vulture. Though a more vertical design, the Clan OmniMech shared the same compressed volume issues, with the Clan engineers making several unusual decisions in its internal layout to alleviate the interference problem. With the TharHes engineers able to adapt the Clan solution to the Bushwacker, reconfiguring its internal structure, the 'Mech was given a second lease on life.
Full scale production of the corrected Bushwacker began in 3053 on Tharkad following the Truce of Tukayyid, though many FedCom units who served on the Clan frontlines received preproduction models during the initial invasion. This led to the 'Mech being most numerous on the Clan/Lyran Alliance border immediately following the succession, though by the conclusion of the FedCom Civil War the Bushwacker could be found in almost every first echelon unit in both halves of the Federated Commonwealth. For some unknown reason the Bushwacker has since become a favorite of MechWarriors in the Draconis and Capellan Marches of the Federated Suns.
With TharHes Industries badly damaged during the Jihad and Word of Blake occupation of Tharkad, the company was forced to sell off the Bushwacker plans to raise much-needed capital to rebuild its production lines. Purchased by Coventry Metal Works, the company used the specs to create the Gauntlet OmniMech, with modern Bushwacker models sharing a similar frame and various other components with it, allowing both CMW and TI to reduce costs for both designs through economies of scale. Though the OmniMech was intended as an exclusively Lyran design, the Bushwacker is not so restricted and is exported outside the Commonwealth, remaining popular within the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns even during the Dark Age era.
Weapons and Equipment
The Bushwacker has a top speed of 86.4 km/h and carries nine tons of armor. What the 'Mech lacks in protection it makes up for in range, using its speed to keep enemies at arm's length while using its slew of long range weaponry to slowly wear down enemies.
In an attempt to keep the enemy at as long a range as possible, the Bushwacker carries two Federated 5-Shot LRM-5 launchers. The LRM-5s give it the capability to give some indirect fire support as well as laying down minefields with specialized munitions. These are backed up by a BlazeFire Sweetshot ER large laser and an 80 mm Mydron Model B AC/10, which give the 'Mech a powerful long range direct-fire punch. A pair of Johnston Minigun machine guns are the only short range weapons carried by the 'Mech.
- The L1 variant of the Bushwacker is a configuration that changes the 'Mech to a close combat unit, with the only long-range weapon being an ER large laser. For close combat, the L1 carries an LB 20-X AC that can fire either standard or cluster ammunition, adding versatility to the crippling firepower of this extremely deadly close combat weapon. The L1 saw its engine upgraded to a light fusion engine, the chassis changed to endo steel, and the ferro-fibrous armor replaced by standard armor, with two and a half tons added for increased survivability. BV (1.0) = 1,342 (1,264), BV (2.0) = 1,513
- The S2 is a variant of the Bushwacker that makes the 'Mech more effective at short to medium ranges. The 'Mech carries an ER large laser to allow the 'Mech to engage an enemy at long ranges as it closes, supported by an LB-X AC/10, which can fire both standard and cluster ammunition for long- to medium-range engagement capabilities. For close combat, the 'Mech has two SRM-4 launchers, making it a powerful unit at any range. For added defense, the S2 carries an anti-missile system. BV (1.0) = 1,103, (1,123), BV (2.0) = 1,293
- Considered the export counterpart to the Gauntlet, the X4 is constructed around a similar endo steel frame, light ferro-fibrous, and MASC as the OmniMech, but a swap to 275-rated XL engine allows it carry more equipment. Its primary weapon is a right arm-mounted plasma rifle in support of an ER large laser, twin medium lasers and paired MML-5s, the X4 carrying two tons of plasma rounds and two tons of missile reloads, normally one each of SRM and LRM. BV (2.0) = 1,751
These variants presented here were introduced in MechWarrior Online, and thus far have not appeared in any canonical media.
- A missile boat in the mold of the X2, the P1 moves one of the left-torso LRM-5 launchers to the right torso, retaining the X1's center torso mounted ER large laser by replacing the AC/10 with lighter AC/5 and removing the machine guns. Removing the CASE, the P1 also exchanges the ferro-fibrous armor of the standard Bushwacker for an endo steel frame, the extra weight saved allowing it to carry three tons of LRM missiles, two tons of autocannon rounds and mount 13 double heat sinks.
- Built for increased field endurance, the P2 moves the X1's ER large laser to the right-arm mount that previously held the AC/10 and installs the X2's twin medium pulse lasers in the center torso. Retaining the LRM-5s and machine guns, any loss in protection by removing the ferro-fibrous armor and CASE is mitigated by carrying more standard armor, made possible by a swap to an endo steel frame. A single ton of missile and machine gun reloads each and 16 double heat sinks give the P2 good endurance in battle.
- BSW-HR High Roller
- While all indications are that Valten Ryder piloted a standard, albeit prototype, BSW-X1 variant, some sources indicate his so-called High Roller was refitted, dropping the left-arm mounted LRM-5 launcher for a brace of three medium lasers, exchanging the ferro-fibrous armor and CASE for endo steel to carry an extra half ton of machine gun reloads and an extra double heat sink.
- Sergeant Major Amanda Black, officer of the Kathil Capellan March Militia fought in a Bushwacker in the first battle of Kathil, the earliest stage of the FedCom Civil War.
- "Captain" Valten Ryder, member of the 1st Somerset Strikers exchanged his CN9-A Centurion for the original prototype Bushwacker during the early stages of the Clan invasion.
- Connor Sinclair, a Federated Commonwealth officer, piloted a Bushwacker during the initial stages of Operation DAMOCLES.
- Mad Dog - TharHes's design of the Bushwacker had been complicated by space-constraints within the torso, leading to system glitches. When the Federated Commonwealth encountered the Clans' Mad Dog, the Bushwacker's torso was reorganized based on captured and salvaged samples. The resulting BattleMech was free of glitches, and quickly put into production.
- Barghest - TharHes, at the behest of Archon Katrina Steiner-Davion, constructed a new quad BattleMech based on the Bushwacker. The chassis was modified by moving the legs forward and adding a second pair of legs in the rear, followed by increasing the mass of the chassis by 15 tons.
- Gauntlet - Purchasing the plans for the Bushwacker following the Jihad, Coventry Metal Works sought to use them to fulfill Archon Adam Steiner's request for a medium-weight OmniMech embodying the Lyran spirit. Despite working from an existing 'Mech and with the Archon's tacit approval, technical issues and Social General interference would delay the introduction of the Gauntlet until 3128.
Original Bushwacker from BTC:TRoW
Bushwacker from TRO:3058
Bushwacker from RG:ilClan v2
Model of Bushwacker from MW4: Mercenaries
Model of Bushwacker from MWO
Bushwacker miniature from BattleTech: Inner Sphere Heavy Battle Lance
- Technical Readout: Clan Invasion, pp. 130–131: "BSW-S2 Bushwacker". Despite the header, the featured version is the BSW-X1
- MUL online date for the Bushwacker
- Technical Readout: 3058, p. 114
- Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade, pp. 136–137: "Bushwacker Profile"
- Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p. 247
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 2, p. 13: "Bushwacker"
- Combat Operations, p. 131
- Record Sheets: 3058 Upgrades, p. 239
- Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 94
- Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p. 249
- Record Sheets: 3058 Upgrades, p. 240
- Record Sheets: 3060, p. 154
- Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p. 250
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 190
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Old is the New New, p. 82
- Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged (Inner Sphere), p. 248
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 2, p. 24: "Bushwacker BSW-X4"
- MechWarrior Online - Bushwacker Sale Page
- BattleMech Manual, p. 90: Design Quirk Table - Bushwacker.
- Trial Under Fire
- MechWarrior 3
- Technical Readout: 3060, p. 114
- Technical Readout: 3145 Lyran Commonwealth, pp. 34–35, 91: "GTL-10 Gauntlet"
- BattleMech Manual
- BattleTech Compendium: The Rules of Warfare
- Bushwacker Lore and Blueprint
- Combat Operations
- Master Unit List
- MechWarrior Online Bushwacker Sale Page
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 2
- Record Sheets: 3055/3058
- Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged (Inner Sphere)
- Record Sheets: 3058 Upgrades
- Record Sheets: 3060
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Old is the New New
- Record Sheets: Upgrades
- Technical Readout: 3058
- Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3085
- Technical Readout: 3060
- Technical Readout: Clan Invasion
- Trial Under Fire (BattleCorps short story)